Korean War Legacy Project

Lakew Kidane Goshene


Lakew Kidane Goshene was born in 1935 in Addi Ababa, Ethiopia. He attended a religious school through the age of 13 and later joined the Imperial Bodyguard at age 17 in 1952. In 1954, he went to Korea in the 4th Kagnew Battalion which was attached to the US 7th Infantry. He served as radio operator in a machine gun platoon that he describes as a peacekeeping unit. He spent one year in Korea and marvels at the transformation that he saw upon his return in 2019.

Video Clips

Korea in 1954

Lakew Kidane Goshene describes the conditions of the country upon his arrival. He describes how Korean women would scavenge for wood. He also explains how his unit would share their rations with civilians. He is amazed at how different the Korean people's lives are now from then.

Tags: Chuncheon,Civilians,Food,Impressions of Korea,Living conditions,Modern Korea,Poverty,South Koreans,Women

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Modern Korea

Lakew Kidane Goshene never thought that South Korea would become what it is today. He remembers the poverty and poor living conditions in 1954. He thinks the transformation is a miracle and nothing he thought could happen.

Tags: Chuncheon,Seoul,Civilians,Impressions of Korea,Living conditions,Modern Korea,South Koreans

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